Minister urges media to ramp up climate coverage as ‘planet’s future is at stake’

A UAE minister has called on the media to ensure climate change is at the top of the news agenda, as she warns that the “future of the planet” is at stake.

Shamma Al Mazrouei, Minister of State for Youth, said the pressing environmental challenges facing the world should be “the most important story every day”.

Ms. Al Mazrouei delivered the message during her keynote address at the opening of the World Media Conference in Abu Dhabi.

More than 1,200 media industry experts, influencers and investors gathered for the three-day event, which was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

How can we talk about the future of media if the future of the planet is at stake? And we’re not bold enough to feature it as the most important story every day? asked the minister.

Although reporters from around the world descended on Egypt for the Cop27 summit, there were concerns that the climate crisis was being overshadowed by other global stories such as the war in Ukraine and even Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

She said that the media has a huge impact on society – especially the youth – and should use its significant reach wisely.

She added that many young people are more affected by the news they consume than their teachers, peers or parents.

“I want to be able to trust that all of you will make decisions that are in their best interests, as well as the best interests of the 3 billion young people under the age of 30 living today,” she said.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, urged the media to support diversity and inclusion in a speech he delivered on Wednesday.

Sheikh Nahyan said, “The media should highlight how diversity is a source of strength for societies, and help combat misinformation and false news that breed parochialism.”

“Fundamentally, media professionals and companies should set an example of diversity and honesty because honest and transparent media is the only true way to shape social awareness and inclusion.”

Explore Metaverse

A visitor inside the Metaverse booth at the Global Media Conference.  Anjana Shankar / The National

The rise of Metaverse and Web 3 – the third generation of the World Wide Web – and their importance in the media landscape was under discussion at the conference.

Dubai Media Incorporated – the media arm of the emirate’s government – has set up a booth giving visitors a “Metaverse vision” for a glimpse into the virtual world.

Visitors slipped on virtual reality headsets to experience Dubai Media’s presence in the emerging metaverse.

The metaverse is seen as a new online world where people use 3D avatars to go to concerts, work, socialize and access a range of services.

“This is the future – I can see it,” said Emirati student Maysoon Al Rayani. the National After entering the booth.

Khaled Al-Rihi, the content manager who created the show, was keen to let people experience a concept that remains a mystery to many.

“Imagine video games. And add zoom to it. This is the metaverse in a nutshell,” he said.

“Everyone talks about it. But no one knows what it is.”

He said he developed three scenarios — a video game, a short video, and a news show — in the metaverse to give visitors an idea of ​​how they might be used and how people might interact.

The metaverse is on its way but not yet fully realized, said Sophie Hvetved, futures advisor at the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies.

“In my opinion, the metaverse doesn’t really exist yet. We’re just seeing the smallest steps moving towards what the metaverse will be,” she said.

“Metaverse is so much more than Meta. It’s more than technology like VR [virtual reality]. It’s a whole new direction we’re taking.

“By 2030, it is entirely possible that more than 50 percent of live events will be held in the Metaverse region. I find that very interesting.”

Updated: November 16, 2022, 5:03 PM

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